mamalates blog

Prenatal Fitness and Pregnancy Exercise Essentials October 05 2013, 0 Comments

Congratulations on your pregnancy! Hopefully, you are feeling good and will either continue to exercise throughout your pregnancy or start up a safe  exercise routine now that the morning sickness has passed.

In the past 9 years since I have started teaching my mamalates method, I have seen women enter into their pregnancies more fit and knowledgeable about the Do's and Dont's of mindful movement. They know that they shouldn't do crunches, but what SHOULD they be doing. One million Kegels a day? No!

When you are pregnant your goals should be: to stabilize, contain, load properly and above all, monitor your alignment.

In our prenatal Pilates based mamalates classes in Portland, we do just that.

We go over what a typical pregnancy posture usually looks like and make adjustments from there.

We talk about sliding the ribs back and placing the weight more on your heels than toes. We talk about the position that your body is in 9 hours a day, not just during class.

THEN we talk about mindful movement during pregnancy and choose the exercises carefully and with intention.

Your prenatal exercise and fitness routine should consist of these mamalates method essentials:

1) Maintaining a neutral or ideal alignment. Loading your skeletal system properly can help relieve back pain and increase the efficacy of your routine. Also, it encourages optimal fetal positioning for baby!

2) Walking/ squats: sideways, backwards, forwards, Uphill// downhill and on a variety of terrain. This is one of the best things you can do instead of kegels for your pelvic floor.

3) When stretching, stay in the 70% stretch zone. Because of the hormones that you produce during pregnancy, it is easy to over stretch.

4) Sit as little as possible. If you must sit, get a stability ball and sit on that.Get up and walk around throughout your day. Maybe place a wedge under your tush and hinge if you are seated at a computer for most of the day. Better yet, convert to a stand up work station during pregnancy. (I know this is not an exercise but it is still an essential.)

5) Side lying exercises during pregnancy are your friend as long as you are not over doing it. If lifting 2 legs gets to be too much, just lift one. Strengthening your obliques and your transverses is part of the core you want to focus on to contain and load properly.

For more information on the mamalates method visit or come check out a class at pod + kin in Portland.

  Wendy Foster is  a certified Pilates instructor, pre/post fitness specialist and birth recovery expert. She is the creator of the mamalates restorative birth recovery method. She is the mother of 2 boys, having had a c-section and a VBAC. She an outdoor enthusiast and currently obsessed with sensory processing disorder in infants and children and the lack of physical movement in our public schools. She can be reached at